NREL.GOV—Between research projects on agrivoltaics, sheep-friendly solar, and optimizing the energy-water nexus, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is increasingly connecting the dots between food and energy. Now as co-administrator for the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2), NREL will be implementing its expansion into digital agriculture.

IN2, a technology incubator now supporting its fifth cohort of companies, is partnering with the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (Danforth Center), the world’s largest independent plant science institute. With IN2’s new focus on digital agriculture, five early-stage companies will receive up to $250,000 in non-dilutive funding to further develop and validate their technologies with Danforth.

Launched in 2014 with an initial focus on supporting scalable solutions to reduce the energy impact of commercial buildings, IN2 expanded its focus in 2018 to advance the agriculture industry, which accounts for approximately 70 percent of the  water and 14 percent of the energy used worldwide.